Historic: Butte, Anaconda, and The Headwaters of The Missouri, Private VIP Tour

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Not far west of Bozeman lies the historic headwaters of The Mighty Missouri River. This is a famous Lewis and Clark site. After leaving the headwaters you will be taken over the beautiful Rockies to Anaconda and Butte where you will learn about Montana's historic mining industry. Butte was once the largest city west of Chicago. It bolsters beautiful Victorian and art deco architecture. You will see various lookouts, stops, and cultural attractions while in the towns. You will actually get to go down into the mines at The World of Mining Museum. All of our tours are private, your party only, and can be customized how you see fit.

Itinerary Details

This is a typical itinerary for this product

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Considering it an essential point in the geography of this western part of the continent, Meriwether Lewis wrote the country opens suddenly to extensive and beautiful plains and meadows which appear to be surrounded in every direction with distant and lofty mountains. The legendary Sacajawea was captured here as a child and eventually returned as a member of the Corps of Discovery. Another member of this expedition, John Colter, later made several trips to this area in search of furs and began his famous run nearby. Pioneers slowly settled the surrounding area and transformed it into profitable grazing and farming land. Missouri Headwaters State Park preserves much of the region's abundant wildlife, lush, vegetation, and scenic beauty that have attracted people for thousands of years.

Duration: 30 minutes

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The old Anaconda Copper Company smelter stack, completed in 1919, is one of the tallest free-standing brick structures in the world at 585 feet. The inside diameter is 75 feet at bottom, tapering to 60 feet at the top. In comparison, the Washington Monument is 555 feet tall. The stack dominates the landscape like the Company once dominated the area's economic life. Since the smelter closed in 1980, the stack has become a symbol of the challenges that face communities dependent on finite resources. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the stack may be viewed and photographed only from a distance. Interpretive signs that detail its history are located in the viewing site near Goodman Park.

Duration: 20 minutes

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A very important stop on the tour. There was a mine disaster in 1917 in Butte that killed almost 200 miners. This memorial location has interpretive panels, along with audio narration, describing what it happened in the mine, and you also get a beautiful view over Butte and the various mining operations.

Duration: 15 minutes

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The Copper King Mansion, also known as the W. A. Clark Mansion, is a 34-room residence of Romanesque Revival Victorian architecture that was built from 1884 to 1888 as the Butte, Montana, residence of William Andrews Clark, one of Montana's three famous Copper Kings. The outside and grounds are free but admission into the mansion is an additional charge that is not included.

Duration: 15 minutes

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The Berkeley Pit is a former open pit copper mine in the western United States, located in Butte, Montana. The pit is laden with heavy metals and dangerous chemicals that leach from the rock, including copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid. The mine was opened in 1955 and operated by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, and later by the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), until its closure on Earth Day in 1982. When the pit was closed, the water pumps in the nearby Kelley Mine were turned off, and groundwater from the surrounding aquifers began to slowly fill the Berkeley Pit. The Berkeley Pit is currently one of the largest Superfund sites. The water, with dissolved oxygen, allows pyrite and sulfide minerals in the ore and wall rocks to decay, releasing acid. The acidic water in the pit carries a heavy load of dissolved heavy metals.

Duration: 20 minutes

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Founded in 1963, the World Museum of Mining takes a peek into the history and culture of mining here in Butte. Located in the actual mine yard of the town called the Orphan Girl Mine, the museum offers a very intriguing experience for the tourists. Visitors can tour and admire the museum exhibits, retelling the stories of the mine and the miners; their importance to the city's growth and economy. It also includes an underground exhibit with its own tour that takes visitors down below to where all the action took place.

Duration: 2 hour

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The Copper Village Museum and Arts Center, a free museum, is located in the Anaconda City Hall Cultural Center. This historic structure was saved from demolition, renovated, and is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. The Museum and Arts Center features visual arts exhibitions of tradition and heritage arts, world arts, and Montana contemporary artists. Also located in the City Hall Cultural Center is the Marcus Daly Historical Society Museum and Archives and a retail gift shop.

Duration: 20 minutes

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The Dumas Brothel was a bordello in Butte, Montana. The brothel was founded by French Canadian brothers Joseph and Arthur Nadeau in 1890 and named after the nominal owner, Delia Nadeau, née Dumas, who was Joseph's wife. It grew considerably through the years, with the miners employed by the city's copper mines often patronizing the establishment. After several changes of the "madams" and continuing pressure from authorities, the brothel closed in 1982, described as "a rare, intact commentary on social history". At the time of its closure, it was the longest operating brothel in the United States, having operated years after prostitution was made illegal. After closing, the brothel changed hands several times, eventually becoming a tourist attraction owned and managed by a series of Butte residents.

Duration: 5 minutes

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You will be taken around to various locations around the historic city to see the architecture, hear the history, and explore the quirky shops of downtown. You will even make a stop at Evil Knievel's grave.

Duration: 1 hour
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